Praise God

Thanks be to God for the overturning of Roe vs Wade. Abortion is one of the great evils of our time. As Pope St. John Paul II put it:

The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize that we are dealing with murder and, in particular, when we consider the specific elements involved. The one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning of life. No one more absolutely innocent could be imagined. In no way could this human being ever be considered an aggressor, much less an unjust aggressor! He or she is weak, defenceless, even to the point of lacking that minimal form of defence consisting in the poignant power of a newborn baby’s cries and tears. The unborn child is totally entrusted to the protection and care of the woman carrying him or her in the womb. And yet sometimes it is precisely the mother herself who makes the decision and asks for the child to be eliminated, and who then goes about having it done.

Evangelium Vitae 58

Many innocent human beings will be saved from murder through the Court’s decision. Thank God!

I want to take this opportunity of eating a bit of humble pie: In 2016 I wrote that Catholics were mistaken who were voting for Donald Trump in the hope that he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe. I thought such strategic votes mistaken, because I did not expect the calculation to come off: I did not expect Trump to appoint judges who would actually overturn the decision. Well, those voters were right and I was wrong. Trump’s appointments to the Court were indeed key to attaining this long hoped-for victory.

Even if this victory is only a first step, it will surely save countless innocent lives, and will give hope for the continued struggle against the great evil of our times.

4 thoughts on “Praise God

  1. Grüß Gott,
    ich hoffe, ich darf ich hier in Deutsch schreiben, sonst informieren Sie mich bitte, dann werde ich in Zukunft zu English wechseln.
    Sehr erfreulich, dass die Hürde zur Abtreibung höher geworden ist. Ich wünsche mir jetzt ohne Verzögerung, ein Hilfsangebot der kath. Kirche und auch der anderen Glaubensgemeinschaften, um den Frauen, die meinten, es gäbe keine Alternative zur Abtreibung, eben diese Hilfe zukommen zu lassen. Es muss Türen geben, durch die geplagte Frauen eintreten können, wo sie unmittelbar Hilfe finden in allen möglichen Formen. Ich bitte die kath. Kirche, der ich angehöre, solche Hilfen schnellstmöglich zu etablieren.
    Mit Gottes Hilfe wird es gelingen.

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  2. Praise God, but not Trump. It´s definitely the Balam´s ass thing. God makes use of the instruments that he wants. God wanted to make use of Trump? I will not argue with God.

    And the fact that I praise the Sacred Heart (his day) for this gift doesn´t mean that I have to be in agreement with the decision as a whole. The Bench does not Legislate. And Legislation does not create morality. So a judicial decision must be considered as an organic whole, as form and matter, as analogous (not equal to) an actus humanus, and therefore taking Veritatis Splendor in the hands I read that the Church rejects consequentialism. Thus the fact that the exit of Roe+Casey as a result does not necessarily justify the Dobbs decision morally. It could still be a bad thing.

    Why do I have that suspicion? Well that is a story. I am reading it carefully. I was in the process of reading the leaked version. There I found strong indications of a juridical positivism that was arguing that the Constitution does not mention abortion, i.e., that the Constitution does not care about abortion. Or rather, that since the Constitution doesn´t mention abortion, it doesn´t care about abortion.

    This position is, in the first place, a-historical: there has been an Abortion Holocaust. There has been an especial devastation among the most vulnerable elements of society: the poor, the minorities, women. There has been a completely new phenomenon of the institutionalization of abortion with governmental and other cooperative and institutional elements that never existed in the past, there has been a regulation of abortion corresponding with this institutionalization that never before existed. This has everything to do with health care systems, which are in both private and public hands. It has to do with a strong tendency towards the privatization of health care: health care becomes an aspect of consumerism and transactional rather than essentially social activity under the aegis of medical professionals who are not merely agents of capitalism.

    So what does the Constitution have to tell us in 2022? Nothing? This is a-historical. Our legal system has already locked horns with the question of abortion.

    But if the Constitution is not the bedrock, the sacred foundation of fundamental rights, what good is it for? If the health of mothers and unborn children is not the concern of the Constitution, what good is the Consstitution for? We need something beyond this meager,, mean hypocritical juridical positivism. This thins soup will not nourish the body.

    The day before Dobbs the Court decided that the right to carry a concealed handgun is constitutionally protected. Is that right specifically in the constitution? It is a bit of a stretch, isn´t it?

    But why are we stretching with handguns and not about abortion? Would it because we are more interested in material wealth, in that stash of cash under the mattress than we are in that most precious natural resource which is possession not merely of the mother but also of humanity, the Unborn Child?

    Handguns protect private property (and life). So your handgun in your vest is your business, it protects your property, it is your private business, it is your baby, and it is part of your body, ethically speaking.

    How about your finger: could someone just chop it off just like that? God, no. How about your hair? No, only your barber and with permission. How about your unborn baby? Is it not obvious if your gun, your hair, your finger are considered to be “part of your body” your unborn baby is part of your body in a sense infinitely more serious and superior to any of these.

    And this is not an argument for an abortion right, but it is an argument for the bodily autonomy of women, and it corresponds completely with the Catholic Theology of the Body. It is an argument that helps us see how abortion offends against women, against their freedom. It helps us see the massive evil of the social causes of abortion, causes that force countless women into a truly hellish decision and a hellish experience.

    Is the Constitution merely neutral, indifferent and unmoved about all that? Does the Constitution not protect vulnerable life? There is in fact that Fourteenth Amendment tells us that lives might not be taken without due process.

    I assume that this refers not only to murder but also to manslaughter. Manslaughter implies lack of due process.

    But here we need a correct understanding of the relation between natural law and positive law. Positive law is not independent of natural law, but is its fruit and therefore in the phrase of St. Thomas a just law does not bind.

    Thus the Constitution cannot be considered to be neutral and indifferent before the Abortion Holocaust. The Constitution not only has a letter, but it has its feeling.

    Catholic Social Doctrine gives us the key to what this means and how this all should work out in its principle of Subsidiarity, according to which the Judiciary judges, and does not legislate, but which means that its judgement gives an important nudge, it is like the Soft Breeze felt by the prophet Elijah. It is an almost nothing but an almost nothing on which everything depends.

    The libertarian interpretation of subsidiarity is that as little as possible should be done at the higher levels of societal governance, but this is inexact. Subsidiarity tells us that society is governed in a way similar to that in which Providence governs, softly and strongly. Softly but with spiritual strength. Subsidiarity is about service, about doing the good in a good way, because good leads to good, and because might does not make right.

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  3. Madelein Albright when asked about the sanctions against Iraq back in the 1990s (sanctions that caused an estimated 500,000 deaths and among them many children dying from malnutrition) responded, off the cuff, “Yes but it was worth it.” From her perspective, it was worth it. Sadam Hussein was our enemy, and though the First Gulf War ended quickly we still had the Enemy in Iraq and we had to keep him under control, and anything we could do to spite him would have its justification, right?

    It is an example of how by obsessing about one part of “morality” one can forget about other parts of morality. In Veritatis Splendor John Paul II speaks of consequentialism and following the teaching of Elizabeth Anscombe, you might say, John Paul II condemns consequentialism and its cousins (proportionalism, etc.). Wojtyla admired Anscombe deeply.

    Anscombe had argued philosophically against this type of “situation ethics.” She had also written en essay called “Mr. Truman´s degree” which argued against giving honors to Truman at Oxford at the end of the war because he had just 2X dropped the a-bomb on civilian populations in Japan. Consequentialism was used to justify those actions. “But it shortened the war…” Anscombe called that one out. Not even a close call, she said.

    People who are anti-abortion are not immune to consequentialist reasoning. They are not immune to obsessing about abortion. Obsessing is a bad thing from a psychiatric point of view. In other words obsession does not help one to think correctly.

    There comes this temptation to think that Abortion is such an evil thing, that if one has to trample on democracy to end abortion, the price will be well worth it. Some of us were never all too fond of democracy anyway.

    For me it is very interesting from the point of view of Divine Providence how Dobbs came out on the Feast of the Sacred Heart and at about the same time as the ketchup thing. Let me explain the ketchup thing. According to recent sworn testimony when Trump heard that his Attorney General Bill Barr, a Catholic a conservative, and a person who did Trump´s bidding way too much for an officer of justice, had shown sufficient backbone to admit that there was no substantial evidence of fraud in the 2020 elections, Trump picked up his plate and threw it against the wall, smashing it and leaving red stains of ketchup there.

    Should we be praising Trump right now?

    I have tried,, on the other hand, to point out how the positivist vision of jurisprudence expressed by Alito and rooted in what currently goes under the name of “orginalism” is rooted in an anti-philosophy of Might makes Right. People don´t seem to understand me. So I am hoping that the ketchup thing will help.

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